The typewriter still in use at the Limong courthouse, posted on Facebook.
The typewriter still in use at the Limong courthouse, posted on Facebook.

(QCOSTARICA) – The scanners donated by the Chinese government to Costa Rica are part of the herd of white elephants which abound in Central America, objects defined as “things that are expensive to maintain and have no use”.

An article on reports that “… The Chinese scanners that the Government of Costa Rica received as a gift from China in 2009, require annual maintenance of $400,000, despite the very little use made of them. ”

Despite the safety benefits, effective inspection of containers and overall increased efficiency of cargo movement, to be gained from their effective use-as occurs in any port or logistics center that wants to modernise – the Chinese scanners at Puerto Limon do not even have a suitable physical space in which to install them, and even today “… the equipment can only be used if there is good weather. (…) At this moment we only have a space in the Hernan Garron terminal in which to use them, acknowledged Fernando Rodriguez, Deputy Minister of Revenue. ”

“… Institutions such as the Ministry of Security and Comex, have followed up the issue, given the potential for the equipment to benefit activities under its jurisdiction.”

“… Despite the fact that the ones they have have hardly been used and are deteriorating in Limón, the minister Helio Fallas stated that the Treasury is currently working on an agreement to buy new scanners. However, he said he prefered not to reveal the terms of any possible deal, as negotiations are not finished.” Will the herd of white elephants in Puerto Limon go on increasing?


Stay up to date with the latest stories by signing up to our newsletter, or following us on Facebook.